So, I have this pet peeve, if you can call it that. Maybe it could better be termed a “soap box” topic. What I’m about to say is my own opinion, so feel free to take it with a grain of salt or with a chai in hand. That’s what I would do!*
There seems to be a sentiment in our culture today and in the church, especially, about the “evils of technology”. A continual flood of blog posts, articles, and even books that talk about how the internet, social media, and smart phones are stripping us of real human relationships and blocking our way to an idyllic simpler life. In a twist of the absurd, most of these things are shared on social media. #facepalm
I just don’t buy it. In fact, it frustrates me. Sure, technology brings the world closer and can be a conduit of bad. But it can also be a tremendous instrument of good. The fact of the matter is, it’s not good or bad. It’s amoral.
Which is essentially the problem, right? Because that means technology is in untrustworthy hands—our own.
We are the ones prone to focus on a game on our phones more than the people around us. We are the ones that feel jealousy at the seemingly perfect lives of others on Facebook. Heck, we’re the ones presenting the same kind of front on our own Facebook page! We decide the ratio of video games to outside play that is appropriate in our own homes.
Our weaknesses and strengths on a deeper level are magnified by those choices, the same as any other tool. They reflect our heart. I know it’s easier to blame something else. Believe me, I get it! But this is the world we live in. It’s our responsibility to evaluate our own place in it and how we want to live out our values. And that’s no different from any other generation, really.
Social media or the internet in general can be used as way to gossip about, guilt, or alienate other people. It can be a way to feel connected without connecting at all. It can be a place of filth. It can be a tool for those with ulterior motives.
It can also be a place of connection, keeping families and friends from around the world in touch with each other. It can be a place of inspiration and hope. It can be a way to translate the joy of a birth to everyone all at once. A way to encourage people you don’t have the opportunity to sit down with over a cup of coffee. A way to get a quick shot of the humorous in the middle of a long day.
Our lives today are structured much differently than those that our parents and grandparents lived. But human nature hasn’t changed since the beginning of time. Our challenges are different and can seem overwhelming. But I can’t imagine that living a moral life in the 60’s and 70’s was that much easier. Historical depictions seem to back me up on that.
It’s all what we make of it, folks. And that’s the truth. May we make the most of it.